Fauré: Requiem and Cantique de Jean Racine

Friday, November 12, 2010
7:30 pm - 9:30 pm


& Requiem (1605) (Officium Defunctorum) - T. L. de Victoria


$55 reserved seating  Or $40/$30 open seating 

Friday, 12 November at 7:30 PM  

Gabriel Faur√© is considered the foremost French composer of his generation; the Cantique and Requiem are his most celebrated works of sacred music. The stirringly beautiful Cantique de Jean Racine was Faur√©‘s first major composition, written when he was just 19 and still a student at the Niedermeyer √âcole de Musique Classique et Religieuse.His setting of words by the 17th century dramatist and poet, Jean Racine, won him first prize for composition.The Requiem, first performed in 1888, was not composed to the memory of a specific person, but in Faur√©‘s own words,‚Ķfor the pleasure of it. After all the years of accompanying burial services on the organ‚ĶI wanted to write something different.¬† Indeed, Faur√©’s Requiem differs in many ways from a traditional Requiem mass. Rather than taking a predominantly fearful or mournful tone, the work reflects his belief that death releases one into harmony with all creation. Two of its most sublime movements, Pie Jesu and In Paradisum, are not part of the traditional liturgical text, but were added by the composer. The overall mood of gentle serenity is enhanced by his omission of the Requiem texts Dies Irae and Tuba Mirum, both expressing the terror of the Day of Judgment.

The program also features the Requiem of 1605 (or Officium Defunctorum),¬†a masterpiece of the late Renaissance by Spanish composer, Tom√°s Luis de Victoria. With its restrained and fluent counterpoint, the Requiem is Victoria’s last and greatest work composed for the funeral of the sister of King Philip II of Spain.¬†

Best known to Metropolitan Opera audiences for his recent roles as Angelotti in Tosca and the Ghost in Hamlet, David Pittsinger has also been praised for his performance as Emile de Becque in the Tony Award-winning production of South Pacific at the Lincoln Center Theater. Yet no role thrills him as much as the prospect of singing this concert alongside his son who is a member of the Saint Thomas Choir School.